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Let There Be Air!!!!

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Happy August!

The kids are officially back to school and we’ve finally got our air back on!!!

In all, we were without A/C in 110+ degree weather for nearly 2 weeks. Thankfully, we’ve got our air back on (running at full throttle! lol) and doing great!

A/C Repair Costs

The “adventure” wasn’t as costly as it could have been if we didn’t have warranties on the parts, but it still cost a pretty penny.

  • A/C repair: $1200 (this was the cash discount price)
  • 2 window A/C units: $250
  • Total: $1450

I didn’t include the two nights in a hotel because my mom ended up graciously paying to cover those nights away. It was a great staycation and chance for a “time out” before developing a longer term game plan (with input from you guys – thanks for the recommendations to get window units!) I have another friend whose A/C went out at the same time and required a full replacement. She got hers fixed in 2 days (versus 2 weeks!!!), but she ended up spending $10,000!!!! Do they finance that stuff? If we’d had to do a total replacement I honestly do not know where we’d get the money?! We don’t even have $10,000 of available credit on credit cards so it’d HAVE to be some type of financing situation, right?? Scary thought.

Surviving the Heat

To survive, we stayed out of the house for much of the days. The girls were in camp 3/week for the month of July (the month of June we had them home full-time). So we’d send them to camp and I’d go to work, or when they were home we’d all go to the library or the indoor mall play area, etc. etc. I tried to plan crock-pot meals, or I would cook first thing in the morning (while the house was still cooler) and then save everything in the fridge. At meal-times, I’d just re-heat in the microwave so I wouldn’t heat up the entire kitchen. Food quality wasn’t as great, but you do what you gotta do. It wasn’t fun, but we survived.

Financial Evaluation

This whole situation has really put our finances front-and-center in the minds’ eye. It’s crazy that a $1450 situation had to be such a crisis (I mean…the heat played a role in seeing it as a “crisis”, too). But only eighteen months ago, a $1450 problem would have only been an inconvenience, not a crisis. We really let things get away from us, financially speaking.

I’m spending some time today writing up a full August budget and figuring out ways to continue saving again. I’ve been putting savings on the back-burner in favor of paying more toward debt but what good is it when a crisis comes up and we have to use debt again to cover our butts because we have no cash on-hand??? It’s a vicious cycle we’ve got to escape from.

What do you use and/or recommend for an Emergency Fund? I think I’d like to shoot for at least a thousand dollars in a dedicated EF, but I’ve also done separate savings in the past for specific things (e.g., semi-annual bills, car repairs/maintenance, etc.) and I’d like to do that too….. so maybe $1,000 in EF + other specific savings categories?

 

 


The Cost of Beautiful – Confession and Resolution

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Over the last year, I have gotten my nails done regularly. It began the day before my job interview for my W2 job and has continued up until a little over a month ago. Even though I knew I needed that money elsewhere, I regularly had them done.

I always justified it by saying, I need to have a good corporate image. I don’t spend money on make up or my hair, this is my treat. There was always a good excuse. At $40 a visit, it is no small cost when you go regularly!

When I lost my job in January, I did start going longer and longer between appointments, but I still didn’t stop. And as things have gotten tighter and tighter, I am more and more convicted by this type of “extra.”

Last week, I went to the nail salon to have the industrial strength nail polish removed. It cost me $10. And have since bitten my nails to the quick.

In reality, I don’t know if people even look at your hands. However, I’m on a computer all the time so I see them regularly. Between the job loss, financial instability, etc. well, this one more thing tipped me over the edge.

DIY Nails

I decided to do something about it. Wal-mart shopping it was. Last night, I went and bought the basic necessities for doing my own nails. I bought a file, nail trimmers, one bottle of clear polish and one bottle of color. Now, I will admit I bought a good brand, in hopes it won’t chip as quickly.

In the end, for less than the cost of one nail salon visit, I should be able to do my own nails for months.

A Long Way to Go

As proud as I am for how far I have come in the last four years, these little things still remind me that I have a LONG way to go in my relationship with money.

Here’s to all the DIY women out there making good financial choices especially in regards to our personal appearance and hygiene. Those costs can add up quickly if you are not careful.

What do you do for self care? How do you minimize the cost? Do you have a treat or splurge for yourself?


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